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St Johnstone miss out on Europa League

St Johnstone were last night bundled out of the 2012/13 Europa League in the second round of qualifying.

The Saints managed to draw 1-1 with Turkish club Eskisehirspor at McDiarmid Park on Thursday but it was not enough to get past them following last week's 2-0 win to the Turks.

Gregory Tad scored his first goal for his new club with a 35th minute header to give Steve Lomas' side hope but Veysel Sari's 51st minute finish dampened the spirits of the Saints who will now have to focus solely on domestic duties.

Despite the loss, Saints boss Lomas was proud of his side's efforts over the two legs and thanked the fans for their support during the home fixture.

"I thought the lads were magnificent," he said.

"It's small margins sometime and against bigger teams, when you get chances you have got to take them.

"They looked nervous and at 1-0 I felt they were rocking a bit. I honestly believe that over the two legs we had the better goal scoring chances.

"We've had a taste of Europe now and we have to aim to do it again. The crowd tonight was great and we haven't heard a cheer like that for a long, long time. We would love to see some of those coming back more often to cheer us on on a Saturday." With St Johnstone out of calculations, Eskisehirspor will now move into the third round of qualifying where they will meet French club Marseille.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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